South Korean is sent home by Pyongyang

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South Korean is sent home by Pyongyang

A 48-year-old South Korean man who entered North Korea illegally was sent home through Panmunjom around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The Unification Ministry said the man, surnamed Lee, was detained by on Sept. 30 after entering the North from China, crossing the Yalu River.

South Koreans crossing into impoverished, totalitarian North Korea are rare. The North often repatriates such individuals, although it uses some detainees to try to win political concessions.

The Unification Ministry said authorities will investigate why the man entered the North without government permission.

“We did not know that the man entered North Korea until the North Korean Red Cross notified us of the repatriation this morning,” said a ministry official. “North Korea told us that the man will be repatriated for humanitarian reasons.”

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